The best Hurricane mix is sweet, tart, and tastes like a drunken weekend in one of the best cities on earth when you mix it with rum.
To be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve had an authentic New Orleans Hurricane. I went to Mardi Gras with friends when I was a freshman in college in 2001 and came home with lots of beads, a nasty case of mono, and plenty of wonderful memories. According to New Orleans’ tourism board, the Hurricane dates to World War II, when whiskey was in short supply but a surplus of rum was coming in from the Caribbean. The owners and bar staff at local watering hole Pat O’Brien’s concocted a cocktail made with rum, passion fruit, and lemon juice, served it in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp, and the rest is history.
If you’re making Hurricanes at home, you’re probably using a mix, and if you’ve shopped for a Hurricane mix, you’ve probably noticed that two purveyors dominate the market: Pat O’Brien’s (naturally) and Franco’s. Franco’s isn’t a New Orleans institution like Pat O’Brien’s is—the company is based in Florida—but it claims to have formulated the first powdered Hurricane mix in the late ‘70s.
But which Hurricane mix is the best Hurricane mix? I mixed up batches of both with dark rum (Plantation Original Dark, to be precise) and flashed my boobs to my cat as I drank to relive my misspent youth. (Also note that both called for crushed ice, but I don’t live in a tiki bar, so they got cubes!)
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- Franco’s Hurricane Mix
Okay, Hurricane mix, as a whole, is a lot. It’s very, very sweet. It’s like if you made a packet of Kool-Aid but added half as much water as you’re supposed to. Rum is also extremely sweet (you know, because it’s made from sugar cane). But if you like Hurricanes, you get it, so I’ll shut up. This powdered mix has all that fruity, tart flavor you expect, and the powder dissolves really well in cold water, which is nice. Franco’s tastes like a cheap Mai Tai to me, in a pleasant way—I swear I even get a little bit of orgeat flavor from it. To be totally honest, I think these Hurricane mixes taste pretty similar, but Pat O’Brien’s gets the edge for being a ready-to-use liquid rather than a powder.
Credit: Merc / Amazon
- Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix
I guess it’s not a huge surprise that Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix is the best Hurricane mix. It’s saccharine, it’s red, it tastes like something you’ll regret drinking tomorrow, but in a fun way. I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint the flavor of passion fruit in either mix, but I’m not an expert either. If you’re celebrating Mardi Gras, order a couple of bottles of the best Hurricane mix out there: Pat O’Brien’s.
Credit: Merc / Amazon
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